Thursday, August 6, 2009

Leaping dolphins

Here is my favorite photo of dolphins from our recent fishing excursion in Tamarindo Bay.   I love the combination of the jumping dolphins and the dolphin who has leaped completely out of the water.  The dolphins look like they are ready to perform at Sea World. 

This brings up a subject for possible discussion and comment.  How do people feel about places such as Sea World, aquariums and zoos where animals are confined and in some cases trained to perform? 

My view is that if the animals are well cared for and humanely treated, there is a net benefit in making it possible for large numbers of people see, enjoy, and be educated about the animals and their habitats.  The message of environmental protection can be communicated, particularly to children, much more effectively in the “hands-on” experience of encounters with live animals than in books.   The excitement of seeing the animals will hopefully spark greater interest and awareness of conservation.

The interest in the animal world sparked by visits to wildlife parks will hopefully lead to greater public support for conservation.   Nothing compares to the thrill of seeing animals in the wild, in their native habitat.  Costa Rica has preserved more than 25% of its land area as national parks and wildlife refuges, which is more than any other country. 

The area off the coast of Tamarindo is protected as part of the Las Baulas Marine National Park.  One of the purposes of that park is to protect the endangered Pacific leatherback turtle.   I will have a photo of a turtle encounter coming soon.

6 comments:

brattcat said...

Fabulous shot. It's great for us to have encounters with dolphins in man-made settings (like aquariums) but is it good for the dolphins? I suppose if the sacrifice of captive dolphins improves the chances of the survival of their species...

Sharon said...

I can see why this is your favorite. It is wonderful. You really need to click on it to see the enlarged photo to appreciate the detail. They are all smiling.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

wow, this is a leaping dolphin. good capture. I just love dolphins and their strength and playfulness.

Jarart said...

Great capture. Don't you just love their smiling faces?

glenda said...

Wow, that dolphin in the back is really jumping out of the water. Beautiful! I am of the opinion that dophins, whales, etc should not be in a captive environment. But I do hear the argument raised in regard to awareness,but for me it's not worth the trade off.

JM said...

Amazing shot!

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